Countless young motorcycle racers dream of making it to MotoGP, but very few achieve it. For many, the path to the premiere class goes through Europe. As a result, Americans have been absent from the MotoGP grid since 2017. Luckily, Dorna Sports is launching the 2021 FIM MiniGP World Series, giving youngsters the start they need to realize their dreams.
Managed by FIM regional, national, and continental organizers, the series will operate by a standard set of sporting and technical rules. Fifteen to twenty riders between the ages of 10 and 14 will each pilot an Ohvale GP-0 160 with a limited tire allocation provided at every event. Each regional series will series is also required to hold at least four events and eight races over the season.
To coincide with MotoGP’s Valencia (Spain) round, MiniGP race schedules must end before October 17, 2021. That same race weekend will host the winner of each FIM-affiliated MiniGP series for the World Final. The winner of that final race will earn a seat in the Asia Talent Cup, British Talent Cup, Northern Talent Cup, or European Talent Cup, and take one step closer to MotoGP.
France, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, North America, Spain, and the U.K. will be the first seven regions to host a MiniGP series in 2021, with more to follow in 2022. The FIM MiniGP North America Championship will run alongside MotoAmerica events at Road America (June 11-13), Ridge Motorsports Park (June 25-27), Pittsburgh International Race Complex (August 13-15), and Barber Motorsports Park (September 17-19).
“We want to be sure that our riders have the opportunity to qualify to go to that World Final, if they choose to, and this is a way to do that,” said MotoAmerica COO Chuck Aksland. “We kind of started this with the Mini Cup, formalizing a (mini racing) program. It’s good to see Dorna is taking a step to develop a worldwide platform for that and giving young kids this opportunity. We’re already seeing four or five kids from the Mini Cup last year are moving up to Junior Cup. It’s good to create these steps on the ladder, for sure.”
Elsewhere, FIM MiniGP Italy Series will consist of five rounds and begin the season on April 25, 2021. The France Series will follow in May with rounds at Le Castellet, Aigues Vives, Fontenay le Comte, and Alès. At the same time, the Netherlands race series will launch and feature legendary circuits like Assen and Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps. Spain and Malaysia will kick things off in June while the UK series starts at the end of July and visits Donington Park, Thruxton, and Silverstone.
With such a wide net, hopefully, the FIM MiniGP World Series opens more doors for riders around the world and help more youngsters realize their dream.